Mids Fall to UMBC; Birger Breaks Record
March 6, 2011
BALTIMORE, Md. -- UMBC narrowly won the doubles point before winning a trio of singles matches to post a 4-0 victory over the Navy men's tennis team Sunday evening in Baltimore. Highlighting the day for the Mids was Nick Birger (Sr., Belleville, Ill.) breaking the Navy and Patriot League record for career doubles victories.
"We played poorly tonight," said Navy head coach John Officer "We just seemed a little flat. UMBC is a solid team. They have already beaten Old Dominion, a team we had lost to, so we knew they were a good team. But we made them look a little better than that."
It would take a tiebreaker in the third and final match to be completed to decide the winner of the doubles point between the teams.
Navy's (11-6) Birger and Owen Bullard (Sr., Concord, N.C.) first combined to win an 8-3 decision at No. 1 doubles over Joe Adewumi and Mwali Phiri. The Retrievers (7-3) would then even the results at one win apiece when Gaulthier Berret and Cristian Hodel posted an 8-4 victory over Zach Nicholson (Jr., Bowie, Md.) and Marcus Rebersak (Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at No. 2 doubles. UMBC would win the doubles point when Adam Duprat and Rasid Winklaar won a 7-0 tiebreaker over Heyward Drayton (Fr., Valley Forge, Pa.) and Jeremy New (Sr., Glen Allen, Va.) at No. 3 doubles.
"We played very well in winning at No. 1 doubles," said Officer. "We then had a 6-2 lead at No. 3 doubles but couldn't hold it. That kind of took the wind out of our sails."
The victory by Birger was the 64th doubles win of his career. That tally breaks the school record of Jim McHugh and the league record shared by McHugh and Army's Marshall Clay.
Sunday's match was contested at the Twin Lakes Racquet Club in Baltimore, which had only three courts available for the teams to utilize. This meant the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 singles matches would be played first.
Winklaar recorded a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Nicholson at No. 3 singles to give UMBC a 2-0 lead, then a 6-4, 7-5 win by Hodel over Bullard at No. 1 singles made the score 3-0.
As to be expected, the match at No. 2 singles between Rebersak and Adewumi was a very close one. Adewumi is ranked 12th in the ITA's Atlantic Region, with Rebersak ranked one spot behind him. After Adewumi won the first set by the score of 6-4, the second set was extended into a tiebreaker. Rebersak would prevail by the count of 9-7 to send the match into a decisive third set. Adewumi would post a 6-3 victory in the third set to close out the match.
The matches at the remaining three singles matches were either not completed or not started due to the team result already being decided.
"We have to go back to basics," said Officer. "We are making too many unforced errors. We need to start making teams beat us instead of giving them points."
Navy will return to action on March 13 when the Mids play at Penn State.
UMBC 4, Navy 0
Doubles -- UMBC wins the doubles point (1-2-3)
1 - Owen Bullard / Nick Birger (Navy), def. Mwali Phiri / Joe Adewumi, 8-3
2 - Cristian Hodel / Gaulthier Berret (UMBC) def. Marcus Rebersak / Zach Nicholson, 8-4
3 - Adam Duprat / Rasid Winklaar (UMBC) def. Heyward Drayton / Jeremy New, 9-8 (7-0)
1 - Cristian Hodel (UMBC) def. Owen Bullard, 6-4, 7-5
2 - Joe Adewumi (UMBC) def. Marcus Rebersak, 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3
3 - Rasid Winklaar def. Zach Nicholson, 6-3, 6-1
4 - Adam Durprat led Jeremy New, 6-0, 4-5, unfinished
5 - Gaulthier Berret led Nicholas Gutsche, 5-4, unfinished
6 - Mwalo Phiri vs. Heyward Drayton, unfinished